Spin-off to "Hellfire and Brimstone." A mysterious figure named Cable arrives just in time for Scott and Jean's wedding and is on a mission to prevent a terrible future that threatens both mutants ...
Chapter 1: The Arrival
AN: This takes place after the events of “Hellfire and Brimstone,” the fic written by me and Agent-G. It also takes place after the spin-off to that fic “Emma and Vince.”
‘These mean character thoughts or psychic communication.’
Disclaimer: I don’t own X-men or the characters. They’re owned by Marvel. Don’t sue. Agent-G owns Vincent Freeman, Uncanny R-man owns August, and I own Jack “Slayer” Robinson.
Please don’t forget to review this story. Send it to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or post it on the fanfiction website. I hope you all like it. Enjoy!
Xavier Institute – Scott and Jean’s Bedroom
It was an exciting time at the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters. The team was growing, the world wasn’t under attack, and spirits ran high. It was a pleasant change given that the world almost came to an end a while back and they lost their good friend, Jack Robinson, in the battle. Now the big event on everybody’s agenda was the wedding of Scott Summers and Jean Grey. It was many years in the making and the institute was in full swing.
Not long ago the institute hosted the wedding of Vincent Freeman and Emma Frost. And like their wedding, this one would take place in the back yard of the Xavier Mansion. They already had much of the supplies left over so part of the work was already done. Since the Xavier Institute was where Scott and Jean met and fell in love, it was a fitting place for them to tie the knot.
Early in the morning, the mansion was a buzz with activity. The wedding was in a week and the final preparations were underway. Scott’s brother, Alex, had flown in yesterday and was helping out in whatever way he could. Jean’s family was set to arrive early tomorrow. It was surreal because it took them years to finally come together and now they were taking this major step in their relationship.
The alarm went off in Scott and Jean’s room, rousing the soon-to-be newlyweds from a peaceful slumber. Jean slept through it while Scott groaned and reached over to turn it off. Despite all the work they had to do it was too early and he would much rather lay in bed with the girl of his dreams cuddled in his arms.
“Hnn…what time is it?” said Jean drowsily.
“Too early,” whispered Scott, “Go back to sleep.”
Jean smiled and snuggled closer to her boyfriend. His gentle embraced soothed away the tension and during times like this she needed it. After going through the horrors of the Hellfire Club she had come to enjoy his embrace and she looked forward to enjoying it as Mrs. Jean Grey-Summers.
As the soon-to-be newlyweds rested peacefully, the door to their room suddenly opened and Alex came barging in.
“Rise and shine, big bro! No time to sleep in today!” he proclaimed.
“Augh! Alex!” groaned Scott, “What the hell are you doing?”
“Waking my brother and his fiancé up so they can get ready for their wedding, what else?”
Before Scott could argue further, Alex opened the curtains to their window and let the sunlight glare in. Scott and Jean moaned at the sudden brightness, shielding their eyes and covering their faces with pillows. Normally they were the ones to give the impromptu wake-up calls, but with all the chaos in the mansion roles were shifting.
“Sorry guys, but that’s what you get for staying up late double checking the guest list,” said Alex.
“You could have at least knocked, Alex,” groaned Jean, “For all you know we could have been naked.”
“But you aren’t so no harm done,” he shrugged.
“Shut up and go bug someone else,” said Scott, throwing his pillow at his brother.
“Yeesh, I thought you’d be in a better mood what with your wedding and all, bro,” grinned Alex, “But it’s okay. I get the message.”
Alex made his leave while Scott and Jean dragged themselves out of bed. It wasn’t the most pleasant wake-up call, but it worked.
“And that’s my soon-to-be brother in law?” joked Jean.
“Welcome to my world,” sighed Scott, “Now what do you say we get dressed and get some food. We’ve got a long week ahead of us.”
Xavier Institute – Kitchen
Downstairs, the breakfast table filled up. Ororo, Hank, Remy, and Sage helped make the daily breakfast buffet. Rogue was also there as well. Remy had been teaching her the fine arts of Cajun cooking and since good old southern cuisine was hard to come by in Bayville, it was a nice taste of home. Remy may have had his annoying side, but he was a good cook and that went a long way with Rogue. Every time he cooked her something special, he got an extra kiss from his sassy girlfriend.
Soon the table filled with the Xavier residents. Logan, Laura, Piotr, and Mystique were the first to arrive, but curiously Destiny was not with them. She seemed extra tired this morning so Mystique let her sleep. Kitty, Piotr, Kurt, and Wanda were next. Then the New Mutants started filling in.
Sam and Tabitha came down talking and laughing with Amara and August following close behind. After having worked out the somewhat convoluted love affair between them, they became good friends. At one point Amara had been caught between her feelings for Tabitha and her feelings for Sam. The issue of being bisexual had always been touchy and for a while she didn’t know how to handle this, but then Tabitha and Sam hooked up and that did a way with her feelings. For a while she was left out in the cold for a while. Then August came along and they hit it off. And she just happened to be bisexual as well and since then they built a solid relationship together.
Following close behind was Bobby, Jubilee, Roberto, and Ray. Warren and Betsy also arrived, but not after a quick morning flight, as was their special custom. Jamie and Rahne followed soon after, having woken up slowly after staying up late watching a movie together.
Last, but not least was Emma and Vince. And with them they bought baby Jack, who was quickly becoming the institute mascot. He was so cute and loveable he garnered everybody’s attention, especially the girls. However, it made some guys anxious when they got what Bobby once described as the “I want one” look.
“God this kid is cranky,” sighed Vince as he held his whining son, “I think he’s picking up on everybody’s stress or something.”
“Well given who his mother is that’s not out of the question,” commented Ray.
“Oh don’t be so melodramatic,” said Emma, “He’s just hungry. Aren’t you, sweetie?”
Vince gave his son to his wife, who sat down at a chair in the corner so she could breast feed Jack. He was a little more energetic than usual. Maybe Ray was right when he said he was taking in the stresses of others. But he was too young to show traits like that. Beast and Sage made that clear although it was interesting to speculate what powers their boy may develop later in life.
As Emma settled Jack down for his feeding, some of the boys couldn’t help but stare. While it had become a common sight to see Emma breast feed, it still drew their attention. Mother or not, Emma was an attractive woman and in a sense they envied Jack. But they kept those thoughts to themselves, especially around a telepath.
Some, however, were a little more vocal.
“Ah jeez, Ah thought you were gonna do that upstairs, Emma!” said Rogue as she entered just in time to see Jack start feeding.
“What? Little Jack is hungry,” she said, smiling at her son, “I thought we’ve moved on from the novelty of me breast feeding my son.”
“Look who’s talking,” whispered Bobby under his voice, “Honestly, does she expect us NOT to look?”
“I heard that!” scolded the telepathic blonde, “And if it makes you that uncomfortable, Rogue, you can always eat in the kitchen with Remy. You do that most of the time anyways.”
Rogue rolled her eyes and went back into the kitchen. But Bobby, Ray, and Jamie couldn’t keep their eyes off the sight. Despite scorns from Jubilee and Rahne, it was still an intriguing sight. It was probably the closest they’d ever get to seeing Emma’s breasts. However, such gazes didn’t go unnoticed by Vincent.
“Hey guys…” he said, diverting their attention, “Eyes forward if you don’t mind.”
The boys blushed and awkwardly returned to their meal. Vince and Emma got a laugh out of it. It was remarkable how something as natural as breast feeding could cause a stir. But that came with territory it seemed.
Rogue shook her head at the situation. It shouldn’t have been such a big deal, but she was still sensitive about sexual issues given what happened to her at Hellfire. She still had nightmares about being raped and even though she made great strides in moving past it, sometimes it was still a struggle.
“Want to stick around and taste Remy’s authentic Cajun soufflé?” offered Remy upon seeing Rogue’s expression.
“Guess it could be worse,” she smiled.
“Hey, don’t eat it all,” said Mystique as she gathered a plate to take up to Destiny, “You’re not the only one who likes southern food.”
“Don’t worry, cherè. There’s plenty to go around,” assured Remy.
The Cajun mutant went back to teasing his girlfriend with food. Mystique sighed to herself as she gathered some eggs and sausage. It had taken a while for her to warm to the idea of Gambit dating her daughter, but if he could make her smile and laugh that was good enough. And those cooking skills were a plus.
“Hey where is Irene?” asked Rogue.
“Still sleeping,” sighed Mystique, “She’s been kind of restless lately. But then again, who hasn’t?”
“Dat’s for sure. All these weddings is tough,” commented Remy, “Just be glad Warren hasn’t proposed to Betsy yet.”
“Don’t give em any ideas,” said Rogue with a humored grin.
As the team gathered for breakfast, Professor Xavier finally made his appearance with Scott, Jean, and Alex following close behind.
“Good morning, Professor,” greeted Ororo.
“Good morning, everybody,” said Xavier, “Is everybody situated?”
“I’d say so,” said Logan, “Ready to lay out the war plan?”
“Of course, but not before an English muffin.”
“Way ahead of you, Charles,” said Sage.
The Professor wheeled around to get his usual helping of eggs, tea, and an English muffin. Scott and Jean followed close behind, staying close and exchanging playful gestures. It earned them a look from Alex, but he didn’t say anything. They were getting married after all. There was no point in settling them down. They had their whole lives to do that.
“Attention everyone,” announced the Professor as he wheeled into the dining room.
The chatter died down and Emma stopped feeding Jack so they could listen.
“As you all know we have a busy week ahead of us. After breakfast, take some time to get dressed and wash up, but after that I want the New Mutants to begin on the setup out back.”
“Again?” groaned Roberto, “But we already did that for Vince and Emma’s wedding. Can’t we switch this time?”
“Complain that much and you’ll do it by yourself, Sunspot,” threatened Logan.
That silenced Roberto and the rest of the New Mutants while Xavier finished the plan.
“As for the others, your job will be to set up the reception. We had it outside last time, so we’re going to have this one indoors for a change. Remy, Raven, and Ororo will be in charge of the food. Kitty, Sage, Warren, and Betsy will be in charge of decorations. The rest of you are on cleaning detail.”
“Oh joy,” groaned Wanda, “As if we didn’t make a big enough mess outside the last time.”
“Any vay to change the odds of it happening again?” asked Kurt.
“There are limits to my power, I’m afraid,” she sighed.
“Bummer,” said Warren.
“Lastly…” said the Professor, “Scott and Jean will be making a trip to the mall this morning so if there are any more materials we need, now is the time to inquire. Our time is short and we have a big week ahead of us.”
“I’ll say,” said Scott, giving Jean’s hand a firm squeeze.
No one argued with the plan. It sounded simple enough, but when it came to weddings nothing was easy. Once things settled Scott and Jean sat down to a big breakfast. They had themselves a double serving this morning. It was clear to them they were going to need the energy.
“So Alex, are you still coming with us to the mall?” asked Jean.
“Sure, it beats doing grunt work around here,” he shrugged, “Besides, I deserve a few more outings with my bro while he’s still a free man.”
Alex ruffled Scott’s hair, earning him an annoyed glance. But that seemed to be the job of all little brothers.
“Funny,” he scoffed, “I’ll remember that when you get married.”
“Like that’ll ever happen,” laughed Alex.
“Hey, you never know,” said Vince, “Sometimes it just happens.”
That earned him a smile from Emma. The sight of his wife and son always reminded him of how much his life had changed. He met this woman under the worst of circumstances as a prisoner of the Hellfire Club. Now she was his wife, his lover, and the mother to his baby. Alex didn’t understand it, but then again nobody who wasn’t in love could.
“I hear you, man,” said Scott, “By the way, we may need your help too, Vince. We’re going to need some muscle to help carry everything.”
“I thought you were just going to pick up your tux and a few accessories.”
“We are, but that depends on your interpretation of the phrase ‘a few accessories.’”
“Are you implying something, Summers?” said Jean with a slight scold.
“What? Of course not,” said Scott innocently, “I’m just trying to think ahead in case we pick up more than we plan to.”
“Sure you were,” she said skeptically.
The couple fell silent and returned to their breakfast. Alex shook his head. He would have thought Scott would learn by now to make those kinds of comments. But even marriage wasn’t enough to make him remember. Some girls just didn’t take them right. He learned that first hand with his on-again/off-again relationship with this girl back in Hawaii, Lorna.
She was probably the only really serious relationship he had so far. They got pretty serious at times, but not serious enough considering they broke it off on a couple of occasions. Some of it was his fault because he just wasn’t familiar with serious relationships. Some of it was Lorna’s fault because she pushed things faster than he was willing to go. There were still feelings between them, but it was far from marriage.
“I swear I don’t know why those two are going through with this big ceremony anyways. They’re already acting like they’re married,” commented Tabitha.
“Commitment is a strange thing, Tabby,” said Sam, slipping his arm around her waist, “Heck, you may find out for yourself one day.”
“Easy you two,” said Piotr in a humored tone, “One wedding at a time, yes?”
Bayville Industrial District
Activity was fairly light in the heart of the Bayville industrial district. Since it was Saturday there was less activity than usual. Occasionally, a few big rigs and dump trucks pulled in to deliver weekend loads, but other than that there wasn’t much going on in the early morning hours.
Much of the area was surrounded by gates and fences. This was done to keep out thieves and gangs, who got cheap laughs off spreading graffiti and stealing construction gear. Older buildings were also a haven for gatherings so the police did numerous rounds, especially at night. But since the sun was up, most had returned to the city leaving only a single patrol car with a lone officer to watch over the area.
“This is urban unit 30 to dispatch, over,” said the middle aged officer into his radio.
“This is dispatch. What’s your status urban 30?”
“I think the sun scared the crime off. Requesting permission to return to the station and…”
Suddenly, a bright pulsing flash down an alley in between loading docks caught the officer’s eye. It looked like someone was setting off a light show indoors, only this was not like any light show he had ever seen. It sparked with the distinct crackle of electricity and pulsed steadily. Then it suddenly stopped. His curiosity heightened, the officer parked his car.
“Dispatch to urban 30, mind repeating that?”
“Um…hold on, dispatch. I just saw something around loading house 13. Possible 616 in progress. Going to investigate.”
The officer turned his car off and carefully approached the area. It was a confined area between loading areas where big rigs parked to discharge their supplies. He noticed the air was quite a bit hotter as he entered. Being in the shadows in between tall buildings was not the safest place to be around, even in broad daylight. Something about it didn’t feel right.
Then he rounded a corner into an area near some electrical components. Perhaps a transformer had blown out or something or someone was messing with the wiring. He noticed the gate was unlocked so he opened it and took a closer look. Then he saw it.
“What the hell?” he gasped.
Standing before him was a seven-foot-tall humanoid figure with a broad frame and metallic white skin. It was like a robot on steroids with arms and legs built for strength. But the face was the most defining/disturbing feature. It looked like a demon straight from hell with penetrating red eyes and a demonic structure.
At a loss for words, the officer approached the figure. He had never seen anything like it. It wasn’t moving or making any sound. Near as he could tell it wasn’t even on. With growing anxiety, he grasped his communicator.
Suddenly, the eyes on the figure flashed bright red. And to the horror of the officer, the figure started to move. Then it spoke in a deep robotic tone.
The officer fell back, stumbling to the hard pavement as he scrambled to get away.
“Oh God…” he gasped.
He instinctively drew his gun and pointing it at the machine in defense. But the robot that called itself Nimrod reacted swiftly and decisively.
“Weapon identified. Threat assessment: minor.”
The eyes of Nimrod flashed bright red and before the officer knew what hit him, a powerful beam shot out and struck the hapless man. His flesh was reduced to ashes in a fraction of a second, leaving nothing but his gun, communicator, and belt. It all happened so fast he didn’t even have time to scream.
“Urban 30? Urban 30, come in! What’s your status? Do you need backup?”
Nimrod looked down at the communicator and assessed the situation. Apparently, its journey had been successful. The mission had officially begun and it was time to activate its primary program.
“Activating urban stealth program.”
Suddenly, the exotic metallic humanoid shifted from a seven foot robot to a six foot, fully dressed police officer. Before it terminated the threat from the human, it copied his vital features and stored them in its memory banks. And with advanced metal shifting technology, it could alter the consistency of its skin to perfectly mimic a human being. And now it could walk amongst crowds undetected and as an authority figure.
Its vast array of programs ran, initiating human mimicking software so it could pass as human. Once running, Nimrod picked up the communicator and spoke with a voice no one would have suspected to be inhuman.
“Negative dispatch,” it said, “Situation clear, over.”
Now silenced, Nimrod began its mission. It returned to the police cruiser parked just outside the alley. It would make for good transportation into the city should his mission take him there. Once in the car, Nimrod activated its main mission files.
“Mission program commencing. Objectives: identify main, primary, and secondary targets and eliminate. Primary targets: Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Vincent Freeman, Emma Frost, Jack Freeman, James “Logan” Howlett, Ororo Munroe. Main targets: Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lensher.”
Images of each target flashed across its memory banks. Each target came with pictures, descriptions, and identification parameters. The picture of the main target Professor Charles Xavier was the main focus. Nimrod’s eyes flashed bright red as his image appeared across the screen.
With the targets identified, Nimrod activated its scanning program. Since all the targets were mutants it was equipped with a special mutant scanning device. If there were mutant signatures near, it would detect them. Not one target would escape its sights.
“Scanning…signatures identified. Objective: seek and destroy.”
In one of the more shady parts of Bayville a run down diner opened up to a gang of hungry bikers who were passing through the city. They each parked their Harley Davidson motorcycles out front and nobody else dared to park near them for obvious reasons. Each bike was supped up with extra gear and littered with gang symbolism. Confident in the safety of their hogs, a group of five men ate their breakfast without fear.
Unknown to them, the same electrical storm that arose across town in the industrial district formed in the alley right besides the restaurant. A ball of dense energy, sparking with miniature lighting grew to the size of an averaged size human. Trash and dust from the surrounding area was picked up as the air tensed and hot gusts swirled around the disturbance.
Then in a flash it faded and a tall human figure stood in his new surroundings. He had short white hair, a strong build, and battle scars on his face. He wore an exotic military uniform that was dark blue in most areas with yellow strips along the seams. But his most defining features were a metal arm, a metal leg, and an artificial eye.
Breathing hard, he scanned his surroundings. They were nothing like the hell-hole he left on his way here. His eye flashed briefly as he confirmed what he suspected.
“I made it,” he said.
Suddenly, at the end of the alley an old hobo arose from a pile of papers. He was dirty, wrinkled, and clearly hung over with an empty bottle of Jack Daniels still in hand. He looked at the figure with a dazed expression, not knowing if this was another alcohol induced daze or if it was real.
“Hey buddy,” he said in a slurred tone, “You see a bright light too?”
The figure looked down at the drunk with a stern gaze. He stared him over and determined he wasn’t much of a threat. But he did have something he could use.
“Give me your coat and hat,” he ordered.
“Huh?” said the drunk.
Then the figure pulled out a large, menacing gun that looked right out of the realm of sci-fi and aimed it right at the man.
“Now!” he ordered.
The old man may have been hung over, but even he was lucid enough to recognize a big gun. So he gave him his coat. It was a long, full body trench coat that also doubled as a blanket. It covered most of the figure’s body and the hat disguised his disheveled face. It wasn’t the most elaborate disguise, but it would have to do.
Venturing out into the streets, the figure saw the row of motorcycles parked in front of the diner. He half expected to hotwire a car, but a motorcycle was even better. It was his first stroke of luck on this god-forsaken mission.
Putting his gun in his holster, the figure got onto the last bike in the row. It was a nicely maintained Harley Davidson, built for speed and mobility. And that was something he would definitely need. With his cybernetic arm, he touched the ignition socket and with a light spark the engine turned on. It was full of gas and rumbling with power.
“Pretty low tech, but it’ll have to do,” he said.
Suddenly, the front door shot open and the five bikers rushed out to see the figure sitting on one of their hogs. And it just so happened to be the leader’s.
“Hey you! Get off my hog or you’ll regret the day you were born!” he yelled.
The figure looked up with a menacing gaze, eyeing down the ominously dressed thugs. Each was armed with a hand gun while the leader had a shotgun, but he had seen way worse in his battles. This was nothing.
“I need your bike,” he said in a menacing tone, “And I’m taking it.”
“Like hell you are! Get off or I’ll fill you full of lead!”
“Oh no you won’t.”
His eye suddenly flashed yellow and with a simple hand gesture the guns flew right out of the hands of the bewildered bikers and hovered in mid air. Then in a swift motion, he pulled out his high tech arm from his holster and fired a single shot at the primitive weapons. The small flash packed a big punch, causing the guns to explode into a mess of warped metal.
It was enough to strike fear in even the toughest gangster. And when he aimed the gun at them, he got his message across.
“I’ll say it again in case you didn’t hear me before. I’m taking your bike. Got a problem with that?”
None of the bikers dared to say a word. Instead they cowardly scrambled back into the diner, leaving the figure to continue with his mission. Now with a disguise and transportation, he could begin the next phase of his mission.
“Activating the Professor,” he said, punching the commands into his cybernetic arm, “Run mutant scanning program now.”
“Affirmative Cable. Preparing preliminary scan.”
His artificial eye flashed again as the machinery interacted with his brain. It used a combination of high-tech scanning and mutant telepathy to do a search for mutant signatures.
“Scan complete,” said the computer known as the Professor, “Targets identified.”
“On the move,” it said, “They are heading into the city.”
“Damn,” he grunted, “I better catch up before Nimrod strikes first.”
And with the roar of the engine, the man known only as Cable rode off in search of the X-men. His mission was vital. If he failed, all would be lost.
Up next: A battle at the mall pits the X-men against a powerful new foe.